Year 2009 — Volume 3 — Issue 6

We Don’t Need No Education — We Don’t Need No Thought Control: Reflections on Achieving Musical Literacy & the Importance of Unschooling
Pages: 1-13

During a recent curriculum methods class, one of my students inquired about my musical training. Since the vast majority of my musical experiences transpired outside the forum of formal music education, I was unable to answer the question without getting into my life’s story. This experience motivated me to chronicle my lifelong musical experiences and subsequently reflect on them. These reflections ultimately substantiate that the process of rejecting formal music education and engaging in self-teaching has been the primary method that allowed me to achieve a high level of musical literacy. The paper also argues that the process of self-teaching in the musical arena is very similar to the principles of unschooling (a term coined by American author and educator John Caldwell Holt) where learning is based on the student’s interests, needs, and goals.
Dr. John L. Vitale


Situated Adult Learning: The Home Education Neighbourhood Group
Pages: 14-36

Many families who home educate turn to a neighbourhood home education group for support, resources and guidance. The purpose of this paper is to first outline briefly the context of home education in the UK and US, to analyse three different types of home education neighbourhood group as communities of practice and then to theorise how these parents learn some of what it is to be home educators through participation in such groups as members. The analysis is based on evidence from long-term home educating parents collected through thirty-four in-depth interviews and the Community of Practice framework (Wenger, 1998).

It will be argued that although communities of practice have variable features depending on the type of neighbourhood home education group a parent joins, they all engage in a form of collective situated life learning which helps transform parents to the point where they become ‘home educators’.
Dr. Leslie Safran


Teaching Research through Imaginative Non-fiction: Exploring the Word of Democracy for the World of Students
Pages: 36-54

This article is an exploration of the potential of imaginary fiction as teaching research in a university classroom where the interests and ideas of students are taken seriously. The author reflects on his teaching practice, and through the use of a fictionalised discussion explores globalisation, and peoples’ democracy in aid of uncovering potential spaces for expanding student and teacher learning.
Dr. Jason M.C. Price


Voices: The need for alternative schooling
Pages: 54-66

What follows is writing that some students choose to produce for a holistic education class that was offered at the graduate level. The pieces are reflective and were written after 2 three hour classes where we discussed learner centered democratic approaches to schooling, unschooling, alternative schooling, holistic education and many other topics that were initiated by those who were present. The paper argues that, even if it’s changing how we interact and engage with the young people that we meet in our own lives and context we can make a difference by acting in holistic learner centered democratic ways. By transforming ourselves and how we act we necessarily transform the world because we are a part of the world. Awareness is the first step to action.
Carlo Ricci, Katharine Gauthier, Jeff Baxter and Linda Neault